Outside of the tragedy, some really
neat things have been happening in my classroom in the last week.
For instance, last week, in disgust, I draped a chain across
the library with a sign that said "Library Closed Until
March 17th, Reason: Too many books on the floor and stuffed into
the wrong tubs!" I had no sooner hung the sign when in marched
Jamie, a now avid reader, and he announced that he was going
to do something about this problem. Up went his sign: "Save
our Libre! Sing up!" At the end of the week he recruited
nine more activists and distributed a memo, which I photocopied
for him: "Save our Libre!! Meeting 2:00 Tuesday". He
grumbled a bit as I told him, on a day when my principal choose
to come hang out, that the kids were going to have to solve this
problem on their on time and that meant recess. All of the kids
there yesterday, my aide and I trying hard to stay in the background
without missing the discussion. Evidently Jamie had some serious
talk outside of school because he grabbed my teacher chair, announcing
that this committee needs a chairperson and since it was his
idea, he was taking the job! Amazing enough these kids had an
incredible discussion, throwing out ideas and treating one another
with incredible respect. "I really don't agree with you...."---to
the idea of the afterschool kids doing all the cleaning, made
by an afterschool kid who would proably have been happy to do
it...."I really think Shayna is right on that..." --we
can't just clean it, we have to keep it clean. They came up with
a proposal, which I charted them as the bell was looming. Their
1. Don't leave books laying around
or put them in the right tubs!
2. Four people every week will
keep the library clean. They will work during one recess.
3. Everybody has to take turns
doing the job.
4. If anybody leaves books on the
floor, report them to the library committee.
They presented this morning and
we did the aye or nay votes. 22 votes aye, 2 votes naye. Motion
passed! The first four volunteers spent two hours cleaning it
out--soriting all the tubs, dusting and vacuuming! And up went
a new sign..."Library Grand Re-Opening, Monday, 3/17/03"
Ain't life grand?
PS My chairperson is also strutting
this week because he wrote to the principal to tell her that
the lights in the boys bathroom were burned out (and have been
for two weeks, but he didn't say that). So on Monday, the lights
are fixed and he is pretty much convinced that words work. Cool,
Lori Jackson has been teaching for nine
years in Todd County, South Dakota. She is currently teaching
as part of a 1-2 looping partnership. Her undergraduate work
was complete at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, having
accumulated too many credits not to, she is currently pursuing
her master's degree in reading at Sinte Gleske University in
South Dakota. She is a CGI trainer/mentor teacher and uses the
philosophy of Whole Language to guide her classroom practice.